Currently, the law allows restaurant employers to pay employees a base rate below the mandatory minimum wage as long as those workers ultimately end up receiving total compensation that works out to be more than the minimum hourly requirement (which, here in Georgia, is $7.25.) If you find it necessary to pursue this kind of minimum wage lawsuit (or defend against one,) it’s important to recognize the many federal rules of procedure that may play a role in your case. Ensuring that the rules of procedure do not trip up your case (or your defense as an employer) is one area where a skilled Atlanta wage and hour lawyer can be invaluable.
Here’s a recent example from federal court minimum wage action to illustrate what we mean.
The plaintiffs were a group of servers at a high-end restaurant. Their employer charged customers a preset gratuity that it automatically added to diners’ bills and then split those “service charges” among the servers. In addition, the servers also received a base pay of $5.65 per hour.